Myers, Whittle and Green Grass Cloggers perform at FENCEs Dancing Under the Stars

Published 3:45 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Saturday, September 4, 2010 FENCE will host the fifth annual Dancing Under the Stars. This fundraising event for TROT (Therapeutic Riding of Tryon), the therapeutic riding program at FENCE will take place on the Equestrian side, under the covered arena starting at 6 p.m.

The entertainment is presented by Friends of FENCE (Bryan Easler Toyota, Carolina Lawn and Tractor, and Freer Equine). Local equestrian performers will continually entertain.

Three of the performers will be the Green Grass Cloggers, Mary Myers and Caroline Whittle.

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Green Grass Cloggers

Green Grass Cloggers is the original high-stepping Appalachian mountain clogdancing dance company. Formed in 1971 by students at East Carolina University, the Cloggers quickly gained national recognition because of their original eclectic style of dance, which was radically different from the traditional North Carolina team clogging of this period.

By 1974 the Green Grass Cloggers had achieved a national reputation, having won two world championships, and were invited to perform at major folk festivals throughout the United States and Canada. From 1977 to 1987, some of the dancers went on tour internationally and became known as the Road Team while the remaining dancers (the Home Team) stayed in Greenville and performed at local festivals throughout the state.

In 1980 the Road Team relocated permanently to Asheville, N.C., and they still perform two to three times per year at selected venues. The Home Team in Greenville remains active and keeps the tradition of the Green Grass Cloggers alive, still dancing the original routines and continuing to recruit and train new dancers.

Mary Myers

Mary Myers was born and raised in Trenton, N.J. and receive her initial music training with the choirmistress of the local Presbyterian Church. After college, she taught music in the public schools in Passaic, N.J.

For 23 years she sung at the Metropolitan Opera as a full-time chorister. During that time she performed small solo roles in Massenets Manon, Puccinis Turandot and Manon Lescaut, Mozarts Abduction for the Seraglio, Verdis MacBeth, Strauss Der Rosenkavalier and others.

Her lifetime of singing brought many awards in the greater New York area and major prizes from the Philadelphia Lyric, Baltimore and Metropolitan Opera Companies.

Caroline Whittle

Caroline Whittle, a native of Great Brittain was brought up in a riding and driving family. At a very young age she was showing at such shows as Royal Welsh, Royal Lancashire show and lower Castle to name a few. Whittle moved to the western United States in 1981 and continued to show and train mainly Welsh ponies in both pleasure and combined driving, and in the hunter ring, winning numerous events and championships, driving a four in hand, pairs, and singles with many different horses or pony combinations.

More recently based on the east coast, she met and married her husband Jerry McSwain and together they have a small training farm in Columbus. Hunting with the Green Creek Hounds, showing events and driving, this diverse trainer was long listed for the U.S. pony driving team with a pair of Gayfields Welsh Ponies. She is now showing a young driving pair of Haflingers.

Whittle offers a program teaching students basic skills, fine tuning them, producing confident successful riders and drivers from children to amateurs, beginner through advanced. Organizing arena driving trials in the summer gives both students and the driving community a place to both practice advanced skills, or learn the show for the first time. The horses and ponies at the training farm are a combination of Welsh Ponies, Friesians, Dartmore Ponies, Warmbloods, Gypsy Vanners and Miniature horses at all different levels of riding and driving.

Tickets are on sale now. Bleacher seats and dinner tickets will be sold. Dinner tickets consist of dinner from Stone Soup of Landrum, S.C., under the covered arena and the show. Bleacher seat ticket holders are invited to bring a picnic, no food will be sold. There will be beer and wine for sale for bleacher seat ticket holders. For additional information or tickets call FENCE at 828-859-9021 or visit